Charlotte- The Vikings lose Adrian Peterson for a number of weeks in the win over the Packers last week and lost offensive lineman Matt Kalil to a hip injury. With the Vikings headed to the distinctly unfriendly confines of Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte where the defending NFC champ Panthers had a 14 game win streak. The last two home games saw the Panthers ring up 49 and 46 points. The Vikings looked to be in serious trouble. Undeterred the Vikings fell behind 10-0 before using a defensive fueled sparked to rally to a 22-10 win. Offensively the Vikings were as pedestrian as the term would allow. Gaining a paltry 211 net yards, and only 40 rushing yards there are many places that the Vikings can improve, but the offense did just enough to secure the win.
The Panthers scored the first ten points of the game on their first two drives of the game. Running 7 plays each on their first two drives resulting first in a Graham Gano field goal then a Cam Newton 3 yard rushing touchdown. The Vikings offense was going nowhere though and after a single first down, punted the ball back to the Panthers inside the 10. A potential backbreaking bust out 20 yard run by Cameron Artis-Payne was negated by holding penalty and a play later Danielle Hunter ambushed Newton in the end zone and the Vikings were on the board. After an exchange of punts the Panthers missed a field goal. The Vikings still were not moving the ball and punted the ball back to the Panthers, and after the Panthers again failed to move the ball punted the ball back to Vikings and Marcus Sherels weaved his way back 54 yards to the end zone, Blair Walsh missed the extra point and the Vikings trailed 10-8 going into the half. The Vikings took the second half kickoff and mounted their best drive of the game going 79 yards in 10 plays Sam Bradford finding Kyle Rudolph on a 15 yard pass play to give the Vikes their first lead and one they would not relinquish. The two point conversion gave the Vikes a 16-10 lead. THe Vikes would tack on a pair of fourth quarter field goals and keep the Panthers out of scoring range for the rest of the game to secure the win.
Eric Kendricks led the team with 12 tackles, Harrison Smith led with 6 solo tackles. The Vikes secondary had three interceptions
Marcus Sherels had a 54 yard punt return for a score. Cordarrelle Patterson had two kick returns averaging 20 yard a return. Blair Walsh made two field goals but missed his only extra point attempt. Jeff Locke averaged 48.4 yards a punt and placed 3 balls inside the 20
Sam Bradford had a solid if unspectacular day going 18-28 for 171 yards and a score. The Vikings had zero turnovers
Everson Griffin was everywhere 3 sacks, 3 tackles for loss and 4 QB hits
Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn on taking Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin out of the game.
“We just knew where Benjamin was the whole time,” Munnerlyn said. “Funchess, we weren’t worried about him. It was Kelvin Benjamin. Me personally, I think No. 17 (Funchess) is not that good, so we weren’t really worried about him.”
That’s the fact
The Vikings held Panthers top receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess without a catch
The Vikings return home to US Bank Stadium for another primetime date facing the New York Giants on Monday Night Football October 3 at 8:30 EDT (7:30 CDT)